ASRock Z690 Aqua

ASRock Z690 Aqua Motherboard Assessment

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If you happen to’re trying to liquid cool a brand new Intel construct, you actually have choices today. You could possibly in fact select your personal board and a suitable water block. However many corporations make boards with the block included today. Just lately, we appeared on the MSI Z690 Carbon EK X and the Asus Z690 Excessive Glacial. These boards embody a custom-made water block that cools the CPU and VRMs – and extra within the case of the Glacial. The MSI Carbon EK X is the least costly of those boards, a mid-range providing at simply over $600, whereas the Asus Z690 Glacial is extra of a flagship or Halo-type product, priced at slightly below $2,000. ASRock’s possibility on this area of interest, the water-cooled Z690 Aqua, sits between these two alternate options, with a present value of $1,149.99 at Newegg. It gives customers loads of connectivity, together with a Thunderbolt 4 Kind-C (40 Gbps) port, 10 GbE and Wi-Fi 6E, three M.2 sockets, and sturdy energy supply identical to the others. Let’s see what units these cool operators aside.

Priced at practically $1150, the Aqua has nearly the whole lot you’d count on out of a flagship-class board. Trying previous the watercooling, it comes with 20-phase 105A VRMs, a Marvell 10 GbE NIC and Killer-based Wi-Fi 6E. You may’t get a lot sooner or extra succesful choices in Z690. To me, the Aqua is likely one of the better-looking motherboards for the platform, with practically the entire PCB coated by metal shrouds, heatsinks and the water block. The black-on-silver/chrome look suits in with most construct themes and begs to be the crown jewel of your Z690-based system. That stated, it isn’t with out its shortcomings. You received’t discover a PCIe 5.0-capable (128 Gbps) M.2 socket, and there are solely three M.2s whole, leaving it a bit low in comparison with different premium boards that include 4 (or extra). I doubt that’s a deal-breaker for many customers, however the lack of a PCIe 5.0 M.2 socket is disappointing given the worth.

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